Mr. Romney visits the White House for lunch with the President

Mr. Romeny visits the White House for a Private lunch with the President

Photo prop­erty of Getty Images

On Novem­ber 29, 2012, Mr. Rom­ney will join the Pres­i­dent for a pri­vate lunch at the White House.  Yes­ter­day, I had the honor of speak­ing to KNX 1070 radio regard­ing eti­quette tips for how both men should con­duct them­selves. Here is what we dis­cussed, as well as other things to keep in mind.

Host­ess Gift

When­ever you are a guest, you should always show up with a gift for your host.  In this case, Mr. Rom­ney could bring a book, or a framed pic­ture of him­self like the Queen of Eng­land did in 2009.  What­ever he decides, he should keep in mind that this may be dis­played in Pres­i­dent Obama’s pres­i­den­tial library one day.

Small Talk

I’m sure they both have plenty to talk about, but they should each have a few top­ics pre­pared so when the con­ver­sa­tion comes to a silent patch then they will have some­thing to bring up.  The Pres­i­dent should refrain from remind­ing Mr. Rom­ney that he won re-election and Mr. Rom­ney may not want to men­tion any plans on a new ele­va­tor for his cars, and, as funny as this may sound, should avoid polit­i­cal top­ics, espe­cially since this lunch takes place at the White House with the Pres­i­dent of the United States.


It is cus­tom­ary to make toasts at meals, but here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1.  A guest does not make the first toast, the host does.
  2.  When the host makes a toast, he should refrain from mak­ing fun or embar­ris­ing his guest.
  3. A per­son who is on the receiv­ing end of the toast never drinks to him­self, but instead may respond back with a toast to his guest.

Thank You Note

A guest, in this case, Mr. Rom­ney should fol­low up with a thank you note to the Pres­i­dent thank­ing him for a won­der­ful time even though it may not have been.

Man­ners is about mak­ing the other per­son feel com­fort­able.  If Mr. Rom­ney and Pres­i­dent Obama keep this in mind, I have no doubt their first encounter after a heated elec­tion will go off with­out a hitch.